Afrobeta Talks Its New, As-Yet Untitled Album and Totally Secret Holloween Costumes
Stretch out your candy sacks. Sharpen your fangs with a nail file. And prepare for fire, crushed pumpkins, and a plague of too-old kids in costumes. It's Hollerween.
In seven hours, Miami's Afrobeta and two other electro-indie party crews -- NYC creep poppers Holy Ghost! and Omaha, Nebraska's resident oddities Depressed Buttons -- will fill the Electric Pickle with so much Devil's Night deviance (and dancing) that Satan himself might show up.
Expect Tony and Cuci plan to premiere a few, never-before-heard tracks, too. See the cut for news about the new album, spooky stuff, and Afrobeta's totally secret costumes.
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New Times: Your songwriting seems both simple and studied. Are either of you big record collectors? Do you dig the crates?
Tony: Not at all.
Cuci: I'm the record collector. I've taken all my mom's records. It spans the gamut from, like, Fleetwood Mac to Stevie Wonder. And I'm picking up new stuff now, too.
Tony: My very small record collection stems from playing in a Top 40 cover band during the early to mid '90s. I learned over 200 pop songs.
So you're working on a new full-length album. Do you have a working title?
Cuci: We thought about making it self-titled because we haven't come up with a title just yet.
Tony: We have too many probably. We can't decide on one.
How far along are you in the recording?
Tony: Almost done. We're in the mix down process right now. That'll probably be done this week and then we'll get it mastered next week.
Where are you doing the work?
Tony: Here at home. Nothing fancy ... A laptop and speakers. We recorded a lot of the vocals at Kent Hernandez's Kent Sounds.
How long have you been prepping the album?
Cuci: The recording process has been lengthy because we initially rerecorded four songs that were on our EP. We decided to give those songs a new take for the full length. We've been recording and traveling through the summer, so it's been an on-off process.
Tony: It's really been four months, from July when we got back from Europe till right now.
Are these new recordings gonna be significantly different from the stuff people expect from Afrobeta?
Tony: Actually, it's going back to our original demos.
Cuci: Yeah. It sounds similar to what people may have heard from us when we were playing Circa back in the day at our monthlies or whatever. Stylistically, it harkens back to the early stuff. And we're just learning as much as we can [about recording].
Tony: Doing it ourselves. No fancy mikes.
Aside from Kent Hernandez, have you brought in any other collaborators?
Cuci: We had a friend of ours, Ben Shahoulian, sit in on some of our recording sessions. And he wrote some lyrics. He's a local poet. He's a lyrical genius.
What's on the schedule after Hollerween?
Tony: We're going to Brazil to play Ultra. And then we have a bunch of shows over there.
Cuci: Our ticket says we're leaving November 3 and we return November 22. So we'll be spending the entire month there.
Tony: Yeah. We'll be touring all over Brazil.
Have you ever gigged in that country before?
Tony: But they seem to like us over there.
Is all this traveling as Afrobeta tied to [Ultra Music Festival organizers] Russell and Charlie Faibisch being the band's managers?
Tony: Oh yeah.
Cuci: Definitely. We haven't done an official tour, though. We'll be gone for an extended period of time once the album drops. We'll be doing a big 30-show thing.
Tony: There's something coming up in January or February. They're planning it right now.
OK. Specifically for Hollerween, what kind of mayhem is planned?
Cuci: There's gonna be an outdoor stage.
Tony: Yeah. We're closing out the parking lot in the back.
Cuci: Of Club Circa. [Laughs] Uh, the Pickle. I really wanna trick out that backyard and make it spooky. And I wanna have a costume contest.
Can you drop any hints about Afrobeta's getups?
Cuci: No. I'll only say this: Our costumes are related.
Tony: Yeah. Like Humpty and Dumpty.
Cuci: Or a gang.
Afrobeta with Holy Ghost! and Depressed Buttons as well as Laura of Miami, DJ Bill Kelly, DJ Dennis Sebayan, Hottpants, Tomas of Aquabooty, and William Renuart. Saturday, October 30. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $15 in advance via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up. Call 305-456-5613 or visit electricpicklemiami.com.
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